Publisher Ned Pines put out 59 issues of Real Life Comics under his Standard Comics label from 1941 to 1951. One has to wonder about the tagline on the cover (TRUE ADVENTURES OF THE WORLD'S GREATEST HEROES!) because by issue #58, they appear to be scraping the bottom of the barrel. The cover story (signed by John Severin and Will Elder) is about the "Robber Baron of Arizona" Jim Reavis, an army deserter, con man, forger, and murderer. The issue then took a turn for the heroic with a Korean War story about the rescue of Ensign Ray Sanders whose plane was shot down over enemy territory.
We then learn about Raveneau de Lussan, a "gentleman pirate" and terror of the Spanish Main. A pious, courteous, and brave man, de Lussan was railroaded into becomng a privateer for France and soon won a reputation for "correct conduct" as he avoided needless bloodshed and graciousness to his enemies, eventually retiring in France and writing of his adventures.
"The Story of Iron and Steel, Giants of Metal" traces the history of metals from the Stone Age on until (on the fifth of six pages) we light upon the supposed focus of the story, Henry Bessemer, who steps off stage for the final page.
All pretense of real life heroes goes out the window with the final story, "Bonus Rookie." Chet Dugan is a "star pitcher from a small high school somewhere in the USA..." Chet signs with a major league team without going through the minors and has to learn how to perform at a higher lever.
An eclectic mix in this issue. You'll have to decide for yourself how true these "Real Life" adventures are.
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